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September 14, 2013

Not guilty plea in armed robbery case

GREENVILLE — A local man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of armed robbery, in connection with the reported hold-up of a Greenville convenience store in May.

Mark Anthony Young, 35, of Greenville, received an indictment from the Hunt County grand jury last month on one count of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

Young was arraigned the charge and entered the not guilty plea during a hearing Thursday in the 354th District Court. Judge Richard A. Beacom accepted the plea and scheduled a tentative trial date for Jan. 27, 2014.

Young has already served prison time on previous convictions for armed robbery.

According to a report from the Greenville Police Department, a robbery was reported on the morning of May 16 at the Circle G convenience store at 1700 Stonewall Street in Greenville. A male was alleged to have entered the store, displayed a weapon, and ordered the female employee at the cash register to give him money. The employee complied and the suspect left the store.

Young has been reported to have an IQ of 53, but has previously been found competent to stand trial on a federal arson charge.

In October 1997, Young was indicted by the Hunt County grand jury on a charge of engaging in organized criminal activity. Young was alleged in the indictment to have acted alongside four local juveniles in stealing eight automobiles from local dealerships during August 1997. Young later pleaded guilty to two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and was sentenced to two years in a state jail.

Young pleaded guilty again on April 29, 2001, this time to four counts of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Young was alleged to have committed armed hold-ups at local convenience stores on four occasions between Dec. 13, 2000, and Jan. 4, 2001, and to have stolen two vehicles from Greenville automobile dealerships during the summer of 2000.

Young was sentenced to 12 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division on each of the armed robbery charges and two years in state jail on the stolen vehicle charges, with the sentences to run concurrently. As a deadly weapon was found to have been used during the commission of the robberies, Young was required to spend at least half of the sentences, or six years, in prison before he could be eligible to be considered for parole.

Aggravated robbery is a first degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from five to 99 years to life in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.

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